McSorley's Irish Black Lager | Pabst Brewing Company

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McSorley's Irish Black LagerMcSorley's Irish Black Lager

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by oriolesfan4 on 01-29-2009

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Reviews: 163 | Ratings: 350
Photo of NODAK
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma isn't all that strong at all, but features some dark chocolate and roasted notes.

Taste is a pretty simple one. Body has roasted malt and dark chocolate on it, but it is all rather restrained. I would say it reminds me of a thinner, muted stout. Not much to speak of in the hop department.

A good entry beer here, I think. Drinks very easily and has good flavor, even though it won't punch you in the face.

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Photo of jporf911
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle; no freshness date provided.

Appearance- 4 out of 5. This beer pours with a decent one and a half finger tan head that quickly dissipates; luckily, abundant bubbles soar up to the surface afterward. The liquid itself is chestnut brown around the edges and opaque black in the middle. It loses points for the lack of head retention, but it otherwise looks great.

Smell- 3.5 out of 5. The first whiff brings burnt molasses malt, a little smokiness, and a lot of nuttiness. The undertones of bread and light floral hops make this beer seem like a stout having an identity crisis. If the scents were stronger, it would smell more enticing.

Taste- 4 out of 5. It's like a piece of sourdough bread dipped in caramel and slathered with almond butter. I maintain my opinion that this tastes like a light stout- a tad sweeter but still carries smokiness, roasted malt, and nut as in the smell; however, sipping it brings the taste of bread to the forefront. It seems like the hops are trying to bite the back of my tongue but give up halfway through, though they do leave a nice little floral hint that mingles with the leftover nuttiness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- 3 out of 5. It's dry, which is good, but the lager-thinness doesn't work well with the actual tastes, which leaves something to be desired.

Drinkability- 4.5 out of 5. The upside of the thinness is that McSorley's is very easy to drink. It's the versatile kind of beer you could enjoy on your own or take to a (non-college) party.

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Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a chocolate brown color with amber highlights and a creamy ecru head that sits like pancake batter atop the liquid and leaves a few strands of lace

Smell: Chocolate, with a hint of roast and leafy hops

Taste: Tootsie roll chocolate, up front, with coffee, roast, and a bit of leafy hop flavor developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the chocolate flavors dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, with a creamy feel and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I note that this beer is now brewed in Latrobe, and I wonder a bit whether the recipe has changed; certainly, I was more impressed than I expected to be reading the reviews of others

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Photo of Buggies
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with dark ruby highlights when held to the light. Nice tan head. Smells of caramel and roasted grains. This one tastes quite nice for the price. Nice rounded flavor of the caramel and toffee. The roasted grains provides a nice balanced bitter bite too. But overall, it's light like a lager should be.

Overall, a nice beer for the price. It was pretty drinkable I thought.

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Photo of TheBigE5
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful black/red color and a nice thick head with a light brown color. Not too impressed with the smell, simply a bold malty scent. Impressive roast flavor at first and then finishes with a mild chocolate/coffee flavor and a good bit of carbonation. The drinkability of this beer is very impressive considering its dark reputation. I have had this on tap and in bottle form and will definitely drink it again.

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Photo of ShinerStArnoldTX
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this off a shelf, not refigerated. Once again, too impatient to let it cool sufficiently, but aint that how they drink it over there?

Anyway, aroma consists mainly of alcohol and floral hops, pretty faint.

Appearance is clear, jet black, ruby red in the light, with a light tan head consisting of pretty big bubbles and about 1 and a half fingers thick after pouring (into a pint glass). Looks kinda like soda.

Taste has some obvious alcohol notes up front, followed by summore floral hops. After that, a surge of bitter hop taste, then a roasty, corny malt finish. About all that's left afterwords is light corn notes. Medium-bodied, almost watery but clean mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

My inner drunk likes this beer, high drinkability. My only complaint is that it kinda leaves a dry mouth behind, but that encourages more drinking. If you wanna get solidly drunk at 6.99 a 6 pack (Louisiana), pick this up.

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Photo of wac9
3.82/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i found this beer in wiiliamsport pa . pouring into a glass , it pours a nice black color , and if you like black this is for you , smell well it smell like beer, taste like nice dark larger that you want to drink again. good mouthfeel starst off nice and only get better drinkability is wonderful i think i found my beer to drink for a while until i get bored if you like dark euro largers or beers black in your glass i think there nothing better seeing black in your glass then try it you may like it

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Photo of Suds
3.82/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a wonderful dark color, nearly black with red hues. The aroma is layered with lots of chocolate malts. There's little hop aroma at all, just lots of specialty grains, backed by a touch of alcohol. The taste is similar. It's a dry beer, very clean, with a lot of heavily roasted malt. Balanced, slightly bitter. The mouthfeel is just a touch oily and slick. Easy to drink, and worth a try.

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Photo of donteatpoop
3.82/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark chocolate color with a finger of tan foam at the top.

Smells of peatmoss and dark carmel malts.

The taste iss uperb, smoked peatmoss flavors with notes of molasses and roasted malts.

Smooth full mouthfeel, goes down smoothly. Not a bad beer at all, I was surprised to see this coming from the Pabst company. Goes to show you shouldn't judge a beer before you taste it.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.82/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is listed on BA as being brewed by Lion Brewery, but on my bottle it says McSorley's Brewery. Anyway it was hard as hell to find on BA. I poured the beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was really black. No head much and no lacing. Smell was slighly nutty as was the taste. A bit of chocolate made the beer tasty. I will buy again.

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Photo of MattyG85
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Retail version. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark brown with a little bit of ruby red coming through when held to light. A decent finger of off white head fades into a thin layer. Lacing is pretty light.

Smell: Dark roasted malts with caramel, chocolate, coffee, and a slightly smoked character. Has a light hint of hops.

Taste: Dark roasted malts with caramel, toffee, grains, and a light amount of chocolate and coffee. A light amount of hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a medium level of carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

Overall: A good dark lager that is what you expect from the style. A lighter brew with some darker flavors.

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Photo of gatornation
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap it was dark brown/black color with a tan head,,smell is sweet malts and toffee with some hops..taste is good with hops and toasted malts a touch of nutmeg some light coffee..mouth feel is on the light side with all the flavors not bursting out at you..easy to drink and pretty tasty though try this one

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

Pours black with faint amber/brown highlights. A strong pour yields three finger of thick brown head that looks creamy but dies fairly quickly leaving a thin layer on the surface.

Smells of dry roasted malts and some slight hop bitterness but not hop aroma. A swirl brings up further depth of malt flavor and some light chocolate and caramel notes. Smells rather like a more complex version of modern day Guinness Draught.

From the get-go the flavor is moderately dry and shows fairly good depth. The roasted malts lend a drying character and some very nice caramel, light chocolate, and light burnt notes to the flavor but do not make it feel thick, heavy, or coffee/bitter like a porter or even more so a stout. There is moderate hop bitterness but no flavor as I would expect.

The mouthfeel may be slightly over-carbonated but I can fix that with swirling. This is a light bodied beer, which really enhances its drinkability and refreshing quality.

Conclusion: This is the second beer I have had from this brewery and it is by far the best. There is good balance and complexity in the feel and flavor and this beer hits the style head on. I think if it was smoother and less carbonated (cask anybody?) it would reach new heights.

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Photo of suretolose
3.79/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. This beer is a nice black with amber on the edges. About a half inch of head that fades quickly.
Aroma is very light, a slight chocolate and malt.
Taste is better than I expected with such a light aroma. Hints of malt and chocolate and a little coffee.
Coats the mouth a little which I tend to like.
A solid beer, nothing too fancy, just good.

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Photo of tugdriver7
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed while watching the Australian GP last Sunday. Black/brown in the glass, decent (short lived) head. Smoky "stout-like" scent in the nose and in the initial taste, with a fairly rich dark malt flavor, though somewhat smoother (obviously, a lager) than a stout. Not quite as much of the rich, roasted flavor of a Schwarzbier, but very much like a quality Dunkel. A bit of astringent alcohol flavor emerges as the beer warms, reducing the "drinkability" rating a bit. Great offering, however. And thanks to "N" for bringing it by.

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Photo of madjr80
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Hannafords for 7.99 a six pack. Poured into a pint glass and noticed a thick puffy head a foam. Very dark in color, but light in texture. Similar color to a draft stout, but with the consistency of a lager. Nice roasted malt flavor, and very drinkable. It is listed as 5.5% alcohol, but it doesn't seem like it is that strong. A good beer to mix in every now and then.

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Photo of Jips
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

-Mouthfeel: smooth, light-medium, light carbonation
-Color: black-brown w/ a light tan creamy head about 1 finger deep
-Smell: sweet malt, hint o' coffee
-Taste: hop forward (not sharp or too bitter) with dark sweet malty tastefollowing
-After: hardly anything, residual sticky sweetness on back of tounge

Great dark beer, quite a find in a middle of nowhere IL bar in the middle of summer (otherwise

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Photo of therica
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Let it warm some (ie don't overchill like it's a ridiculous ColdCoorsLite) and you'll appreciate it more.

A= dark chestnut-brown, some big-bubble carbonated head, modest lacing.

S= roasty, nice malts, light caramel, nutty dryness and some traditional floral hops and dark fruits. Slight burnt molasses and smoke notes.

T= smooth, some nice toasted malts and hints of nut, hints of dark fruits, balanced English-style hops, balanced bitterness, finishes slightly dry and yet slightly sweet as well.

M= nutty, some toasted malts, light hops florals.

D= very drinkable and a contender in this class.

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Photo of godlessape
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one into a fine Paulaner beer mug. This is a dark brew. Foreboding to some, and inviting to others. I'm in the "other" camp. The wee tan head stays on like it should, and leaves a fair amount of lacing.
What I'm taking in the nose is rich earthy roasted malt, lots of molasses, faint hints of burnt sugar, and even fainter whiffs floral hop notes.
With this the taste follows the nose to a degree. I find the sweet roasted malt far more gentle, and neutral then the aroma and appearance may suggest. The minimal hop bitterness at the end compliments the brew in a great way.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp and refreshing. Something that you could drink all night long.
Overall this a decent mild and mellow brew, that I'd love to try out on tap--preferably at McSorley's Old Ale House.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is dark brown and looks alot like rootbeer. A substantial, thick mocha colored head with slow dissipation and leaves a small amount of left-over lacy.

Roastie and nutty with caramel in the malt with dry and green herbs. The caramel-like sweetness is pretty up-front in the malt.

The flavor of the malt is more roastie than the aroma with a nice herbal hop flavor to round it out. good balance, with the malt making the most of it and a smooth feel with a dry finish. subtle notes of mild chocolate and tyme ride in at the end. The yeast plays a big role with earthy and sour notes like a decent lager.

Not bad stuff.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark brown, almost black, with a thin cream-colored head that settles to a thin film. There is a little lacing, but nothing impressive.

S: Smell is rather light. Some coffee and bitter chocolate, along with some fruity notes. Hops lend a floral aroma in the backround.

T: Coffee and chocolate flvors are most noticeable, along with some molasses and caramel. Hops give the beer a slightly fruity, dry finish.

M: A bit light on the palate, but has more body than I expected. It's mouthfeel is is cramy and quite smooth.

D: This beer has more to it than I expected. It's quite good, and easy to drink as well. A good session brew.

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Photo of stckhndlr
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Looks just like it's name implies. Almost black. A touch of light gets through showing a dark amber red. light tan head with average lacing.

S- Some dark chocolate malt with caramel rounding it out. a bit of smoke. smells really good.

T- Coffee and chocolate malt flavor. Has a sweetness to it. something like a dark fruit and a bit of tart on the back of the tongue.

M- Has the watered effect of almost like a stout. goes down quickly and smoothly. Not a bad beer.

O- Pretty good drinking beer. I could drink this one again.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Almost jet black with some bright orange and garnet hues, small creamy head, tan

S: Very typical lager smell, just grains, no real malt, surprising for a dark beer

T: More malt flavor than aroma, dark and malty, but not heavy, a decent roast builds to a full roast, hints of coffee, never really sweet

M: Semi-dry, medium body, not heavy

D: Easy to drink, mild flavor

Notes: This isn't anything special, but it isn't really supposed to be a roasty beer. It is just a euro lager that is colored with some malt flavor. However, that doesn't mean it is a bad beer. I like it for a session beer because it is more flavorful while still light.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a cola color, letting enough light through to highlight maroon flecks about the edges and bottom. The quickly disappearing head is tan, and stands about one finger high. Carbonation looks to be medium, and there is no sediment observed. The aroma is dominated by dark, toasty malts. There are also suggestions of toffee, buttery diacetyls, dark chocolate, and a bit of booze. As we sip, roasted malts meet the tongue up front. These continue, softening out through the middle, where they are met with flavors of bittersweet milk chocolate and those buttery diacetyls from the nose. The sip concludes with more bitterness from chocolate, with a twang of metallic character and coffee beans. The latter effectively controls the aftertaste, which is also malty, with a bit of sweetness. Both the body and carbonation are medium. The diacetyls give the beer slickness, helping to increase the ease of drinking. There is also slight astringency, drying the mouth a bit by the end of the session. The abv is fine and, again, the drinkability is reasonable.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its deep and dark aroma. It was certainly unexpected to have such roasty malts, but it was considerably more surprising to find robust chocolate and nice buttery character. The taste followed through for the most part, lacking only in the same assertiveness found in the nose.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.71/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $5.00 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Served up a near black body with some ruby-hued highlights when back-lit by restaurant lighting and topped with a finger of beige foam.

Smell: Aroma comprised of relatively mild notes: you've got some coffee, some baker's chocolate, some cola nuts, and some dark fruits in there.

Taste: Lightly roasted taste following with flavors of charred nuts and a splash of the rightfully discontinued Coca-Cola BlāK. Scarcely sweet. Mild dark fruitiness prowls around in the background. Some slight cocoa hints appear as it warms. Modest touch of hops provide a small measure of bitterness. Final notion of sweet roastiness on the relatively crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A simple, drinkable brew. Not bad, not great; it gets the job done.

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McSorley's Irish Black Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
3.5 out of 5 based on 350 ratings.
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